Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Carer's Support Grant
1026. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide additional exceptional payments for carers to access equipment to enable them to safely and effectively work, for example, PPE and additional work clothing. [11530/20]
The Government acknowledges the crucial role that family carers play and is fully committed to supporting carers in that role. This commitment is recognised in both the Programme for Government and the National Carers’ Strategy.
The main income supports to carers provided by my Department are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and the Carer’s Support Grant. Combined spending on all DEASP payments to carers in 2020 is expected to exceed €1.3 billion.
Apart from these income supports specifically in place for family carers, my Department also provides a support under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme. The Department may make an exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet from their weekly income. Exceptional Needs Payments are administered by the Community Welfare Service (CWS) of the Department.
Exceptional Needs Payments are payable at the discretion of the CWS officer taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case.
The provision of medical supplies such as PPE is a matter for the HSE and the Department of Health.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.